Sick Day Guilt

It has been a while since I last posted anything on here; I can’t quite believe it’s been so long actually, time is just going by so fast.

I have no real excuses for the long absence, just that I’ve been doing a lot of different things really; doing this and that, and being here and there, all in the pursuit of long term goals. I haven’t given myself the opportunity to properly relax or even to write anything for myself; which is probably why I’ve had a cough for the last five weeks.

It has been one consistent cough, not responding to any of the medicines and home remedies I was trying, finally breaking out into a full blown illness when I actually came to a stop in my currently hectic life. After several attempts to get a doctor’s appointment I am now on antibiotics and forced to stop for a few days.

It’s nice to take some time out but I feel like each moment I spend watching crummy television shows is a moment wasted; a moment in which I could be doing something useful with myself instead. I have to try and do something but sometimes I just have to stop because I feel so weak and lethargic, and I just feel guilty.

I shouldn’t feel guilty though. I’m allowed to get sick from time to time.

As much as I like to think of myself as superhuman, I am not. I was juggling my different commitments, focusing on what needed to be done, not bothering to nourish my body properly and bam, here I am in my pyjamas on a Wednesday afternoon, unable to breath properly, coughing like a dog, and counting down the hours until I take my next antibiotic pill.

I assume there are many others out there like me, probably with even more on their plates, who feel guilty when they have to stop due to illness. But why do we feel guilty? Becoming ill is a perfectly normal thing to happen to us, it’s not like we are simply being lazy; we need to allow our bodies time to convalesce and it’s not like the world will end because you took a day off.

Where did this need to be productive all the time come from? Is it because so much emphasis is put on being a productive, hard-working member of society in this country?

Here in the UK, it’s all about employment. The rate of employed, the rate of those unemployed, the rate of those unemployed who are graduates, it goes on.

I do not think there is another country in the world who works as hard as we do in the UK. Everywhere else seems to have a much more relaxed attitude to life in general and definitely a better understanding of how their bodies need proper rest and nourishment.

I’m all for having a good work ethic, but why exactly do we work so hard? There is more to life than working after all; like learning about the world around us, enjoying time with friends and family, and allowing yourself time to rest when you have a nasty infection.

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